The Zoom Date: Single Life During a Pandemic – Vogue

The Zoom Date: Single Life During a Pandemic – Vogue

There were two rules for the first-ever Zoom mixer of Here/Now, a curated dating company. The first: Don’t talk about work. The second: Don’t talk about quarantine.

There was a technological glitch when the host announced this; her voice, once chipper, suddenly morphed into that of a dying robot. “You’re freezing!” a digital 20-something cried out from the corner of the screen. “We can’t hear you!” shouted another. Behind my laptop sat a glass of wine. I leaned out of the video frame and chugged it.

This happy hour was meant to (virtually) bring together New York singles. But half us in this session aren’t even in the city anymore. Instead, we’ve fled to the beige coaches of American suburbia, our backgrounds dotted with framed pictures of smiling families and childhood Labradors. We are lobbed icebreakers—“What is something you’ll never do again? What kind of a kid were you?”—that we try to answer. But, after a while, we can’t ignore why we are all in our parents’ basements, why we are alone and video chatting at 9 on a Wednesday night. “Why,” as a striking blonde from Brooklyn said, wildly gesticulating at her laptop, “we’re doing this.”

So we break the second rule of Zoom mixing: We talk about quarantine, and endlessly so.

Across America, the businesses of Main Street are closed. Cities, and their citizens, are under shelter in place. Social distancing, a phrase that didn’t exist in the cultural vernacular until March, is now
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